The Ernest Becker Foundation
|Full Conference Schedule|
Speaker Bios and Blurbs available HERE
Friday, Oct 5- First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall (1111 Harvard Ave. at Seneca, very near Seattle U)
6 -7 pm Drink punch with the EBF family and the speakers
8-8:30pm pm Guest speakers and admirers roast and toast Neil Elgee, President of the Ernest Becker Foundation. Program moderated by Deborah Jacobs, M.A., EBF board member.
8:30-9 pm EBF celebrity speaker Sheldon Solomon on Death at the Polling Booth in 2012: The Politics of Mortal Terror, followed by Q&A.
"Death at the Polling Booth in 2012: The Politics of Mortal Terror" by Sheldon Solomon, Ph.D., Skidmore College, NY
Saturday Oct 6- Seattle University Student Center, Room 160
Welcome to Seattle U. - Steen Halling Ph.D., Seattle University
Morning Moderator Deborah Jacobs, M.A.
9 am Keynote "Back to the Future: Ernest Becker's Lost Science of Man" by Sheldon Solomon, Ph.D., Skidmore College, NY
10 am Break
10:15 am A Beckerian Look at the Personhood of Corporations in Criminal Court: Policing the Nation through the Politics of Citizens United by Kirby Farrell and Discussant John Wynn
By empowering corporations to influence the electoral process with unlimited money, politicized Supreme Court justices have projected an aggressive fantasy that compensates for an anxious vision of the United States in a time of radical change and mounting global stress.
11:15 am Teaching Becker in Secondary School and Beyond; Where do we Stand?
Bill Bornschein (St. Xavier High School, Louisville, KY), Dave Whitson (Catlin Gabel School, Portland, OR), Sue Hoffman and John Kornichuk (Confederation College, Thunder Bay, ON), Patrick Shen (Pasadena, CA)
12 noon Lunch
Saturday afternoon Moderator Merlyn Mowrey, Ph.D., Central Michigan University
1 pm Climate Change Denial by Philip Hansten Ph.D., Emeritus Faculty, University of Washington
Non-climatologists have strong opinions on the subject, even though they are unencumbered by true scientific understanding — a classic case of “Premature Factulation.” Philosopher and historian of science Hansten will explain and make recommendations for Beckerian applications.
Discussants - Jeremy Sherman & Sheldon Solomon
2 pm Partialization: Synthesizing Rank, Becker, and New Origins of Life Research by Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D.
Sherman walks us through Emergent Dynamics Theory’s hot new model of the physical emergence of life and mind, showing how domestication gives us a new way of thinking about life’s range of immortality campaigns, from the primordial to those illuminated by Becker.
Discussants - Philip Hansten & Sheldon Solomon
3 pm Break
3:15 pm From Becker’s Belief in God to Disarming Fundamentalism
…”laughter… is really a reflection of a very advanced stage of faith and grace.” -Ernest Becker 1968.
Scaring the bejesus into people: The effects of mortality salience on explicit and implicit religious belief. Jonathan Jong 2012.
“Becker’s religion is pragmatic.” Rabbi David Wolpe
Discussants - Neil Elgee, M.D., Sheldon Solomon, Herbert Anderson, Ph.D. (Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), Bill Bornschein, Dan Liechty, Ph.D. (Illinois State University) and others.
4:00 pm Status Reports
Patrick Shen on his documentary film, Flight From Death
Jack Martin, Ph.D., Simon Fraser University, on Becker’s years at SFU, ’68-‘74
Jim Swift, Ph.D. and Susan Kucera, Documentary Filmmaker, on their Becker-inspired documentary film
5 pm Adjourn
Sunday morning Oct 7 Moderator TBA – Seattle University Casey Commons, Room 500
9 am TMT and the Relationship between Humans and Other Animals by Lori Marino, Ph.D., Emory University and Michael Mountain
Two mysteries: How, as a species, do we get beyond our terror of death? And why has the animal protection movement been such a failure – except in one area? Marino and Mountain explore how the two questions may be linked – and how each of them may provide an answer to the other.
10 am Becker and the Death Denying Function of Play by Jason Hawreliak
Although it is often associated with juvenility, play in fact serves a vital psychological function. Drawing on Becker’s concept of heroism, this talk will examine how play provides a safe and accessible
11 am Conference wrap-up and round table discussion
Becker on Otto Rank
"Rank's thought always spanned several fields of knowledge: when he talked about, say, anthropological data and you expected anthropological insight, you got something else, something more. Living as we do in an era of hyperspecialization we have lost the expectation of this kind of delight: the experts give us manageable thrills—if they thrill us at all."
From the preface to Denial of Death
more on Otto Rank here